Syllabus - Fall 2010 - ARTC 4130 - Bowling Green State University

ARTC 4130:



Adv. Digital Character Animation I
Atia Quadri
Sec 1001: Tu/Thur 3:30 pm- 5:50 pm
1030 Fine Arts Center (PC lab)

Office Hrs:

204A Fine Arts
Wed 1-4pm

syllabus | schedule | topics | assignments | class notes | resources | students | Digital Arts website
Reading Materials

Required (get at,, etc.):

  • Ideas for the Animated Short: Finding and Building Stories, Karen Sullivan et al. $29.95

    Recommended (but do NOT feel compelled to buy!):
  • Maya Character Creation: Modeling and Animation Controls, Chris Maraffi $35.00
  • The Animator's Survival Kit by Richard Williams $22.29
  • Maya Techniques: Hyper-real Creature Creation, Paul Thuriot and Jeff Unay $42.52
  • Film Directing Shot by Shot, Steven D. Katz $17.70
  • Cinematic Storytelling: The 100 Most Powerful Conventions Every Filmmaker Must Know, Jennifer Van Sijl $16.30
  • Stop Staring: Facial Modeling and Animation Done Right, Jason Osipa $31.49
  • Cartoon Animation, Preston Blair $16.47
  • The Animator's Survival Kit, Richard Williams $22.29
  • Supplies

    Digital storage:
    Firewire External Drive (formatted for both Mac and PC) 320-500GB, 4-16 GB Flash Drive and DVD-R/DVD+R disks. You will be expected to back up your data a minimum of once a week.

  • Black 3-ring binder notebook
  • 8.5 x 11 plastic page protectors
  • Note cards - 4" x 6" for storyboards
  • Sketchbooks minimum size 8.5" x 11" with appropriate drawing supplies to be discussed in class

  • Objective
    The course is the first of a two-part sequence where students will go through a full production cycle, which culminates in a single finished animation.
    The course will cover 3D animation pre-production including narrative language, storytelling, scriptwriting, storyboarding, character design, 2D and 3D animatics, character modeling and rigging for animation. Students are expected to build upon the knowledge obtained in the Intermediate Animation class.

    Class lectures will include demonstrations, discussions, presentations, technical exploration and aesthetic inquiry. Students are encouraged to pursue areas of interest and explore new ideas throughout the course.

    • Overall Goal
      The goal of this semester is to have all the components completed but maybe not refined. This includes:
    • Setting/Environment all modeled, textured and lit
    • Characters modeled, textured and rigged
    • Story and character profiles completed
    • 3D animatic completed

    Critical Grading Elements

    Student Blog 20% Research, References, links, critical responses...

    Participation 5% Class discussion-Are you awake? Engaged? Contributing to the class discussion?

    Crit 1: 2D Storyboard
    15% Shows concepts like scene-framing, composition, character, plots

    Crit 2: Story Pitch 10% Week 7: Showing Mood boards, character design, concept art and 2D Animatic

    Crit 3: 3D Animatic 10% Cameras, timing, rough scratch track

    Crit 4: Full Assets & Final Critique 40% character model, environment, textures, rig, Animation Bible



    Each student is expected to complete all projects, exercises, in-class exercises, the required readings, a final animatic, a modeled and textured environment and all characters modeled by the due dates. Details of the various assignments will be discussed in class. By the end of the semester, the final character designs, and documentation of your story should be part of your animation bible.

    Work lost because of computer/software crashes or failure to back up files, will be counted as a zero
    . Learn to save frequently, and back-up and maintain multiple copies of work constantly distributed across different storage media (including the digital arts server). These are important habits to develop for your career. No excuses for lost work.

    • Homework should be posted on the blog or in the homework folder an hour before each class or it will be considered to be a late submission.
    • Home also needs to be submitted in proper format, typewritten, printed out and stapled, with the student's name and class and section clearly marked on every page.

    The teacher reserves the right to take surprise quizzes in class!
    This syllabus is subject to change during the course and the instructor will notify students of any changes.


    Attendance is mandatory. We will be covering a variety of materials throughout the semester, building upon each lecture. If missed, lectures will not be repeated. If you do have an excused absence, it is your responsibility meet with a classmate or make an appointment with me to get the information.

    1 absences = no penalty
    2 absences = overall final grade lowered 1/2 letter grade
    3 absences = overall final grade lowered 1 letter grades
    4 absences = fail the course; dropping the course strongly recommended.

    Being 15 minutes or more late to class three times will count as one unexcused absence.

    90 - 100
    89 - 80
    79 - 70
    69 - 60
    59 - 0
    A = Excellent - Above and beyond, artistically AND technically
    B = Very Good - Beyond requirements, artistically OR technically
    C = Average - Met the basic requirements
    D = Did not meet requirements
    F = Project not turned in or completely insufficient
    Digital Arts Department Rules
    • No food or drink in the lab.
    • No cell phones, or beepers on during class. ALWAYS remember to turn off your cellphone before class.
    • No sleeping during class.
    • Hardware: No student is permitted to disconnect, reconnect, or reconfigure any workstation without the permission of a digital arts instructor. Any problems with hardware or software must be reported to a digital arts professor, preferably by email. Report should include Barcode number of the workstation and exact nature of problem.
    Student Projects
    Projects created in any Digital Arts course may be used by the ART department for the purpose of promoting the student, the department and/or the university in general. These materials may also be used by the ART department for instructional purposes in future courses. Please inform the instructor if you do not want your projects used.
    Any student who wishes to discuss accommodations on the basis of a disability, please come talk to me after class or during office hours. The goal of the Disability Services for Students Office is to help provide equal access and reasonable accommodations to BGSU students with disabilities. Students wishing to discuss their eligibility for such accommodations are encouraged to contact their office at 372-8495 (413 South Hall).